Gerald Veasley - Velvet

"Tomorrow is too late for today's economy business" or "Time is money". Two proverbs elucidate the pressure under most of us have to suffer nowadays. Understandable that many people musicians included are looking back in nostalgia to good old times when we had more time and muse. Velvet is Gerald Veasley's special flash back combining ingredients from decades past evoking music of Sly & The Family Stone, Earth Wind and Fire or George Clinton's Parliament-Funkadelic. 

Gerald's album starts with Coup Deville. If a bass player releases an album, one awaits a bass player album. This piece fulfills these expectations. But Gerald's skill demonstrations are sublime. In his bio Gerald is citing Ornette Coleman. He would stop the band and say: "The reason you played that was because you're playing fret ideas instead of music ideas. You 're playing that come under your fingertips instead of really trying to free yourself to play musical ideas, pure musical thought that is generated from within." Gerald comments: "That kind of thinking is very liberating, and it's taught me to create music from the inside out." Coup Deville shows Gerald's differentiating between a pure bass play and performing a melody.

Sarah's Song is dedicated to Gerald's daughter Sarah, who never opened her eyes, but opening Gerald's. Chris Farr plays a wonderful soprano sax on this slow tune.

Remember the late Curtis Mayfield? Let's Do It Again brings back that flavor of the 70's. As a solo artist in the 1970s, Mayfield helped pioneer funk and helped introduce hard-hitting urban commentary into soul music (Unterberger). Let's Do It Again is a cover from the same-titled album released in 1975. Jaguar Wright and John Stephens are the vocal heroes revoking the spirit of Curtis' music.

The title track Velvet has a rich instrumental environment with strings and horns, but Gerald's bass is leading over all scales.

The bass is leading instrument on Put On Your Sunday Clothes again. A midtempo funky tune with a fuliminant horn accompany.

The arrangement of Do You Remember reminds me of Huey Lewis' "Hip to Be Square". Don't know exactly why.

Luscious is a smooth elegant piece with an intelligent horn arrangement. By the way Gerald often involves horns like sax, trombone, flugelhorn in his tracks. Donald Robinson plays synth solo, keyboards and synth bass on this track. A real enrichment.

Friends of R& B or Adult Soul will like Summer Kiss and especially John Stephens' voice. A singer we want to hear more about.

Funk is back on Bread Puddin'. Such an album is always a treasury of artists one can discover new. Such an artist is Benji Porecki playing the Hammond Organ. Some will know him by the WPG trio, in which he plays with Blues Webb and Gary Grainger and foremost as the newest member of Pieces Of A Dream, where he plays keyboards and Gerald the bass. He has also released some solo albums on Severn Records. He also appears on POAD's newest album Love Silhouette

Gerald proves on the bluesy ballad Forever that the bass can also sing.

A classic R&B song is the short It's Alright (Tonight's The Night), a love song interpreted or shall I say whispered by Mikki Kornegay and Warren Cooper.

Still Movin' On is a softly flowing midtempo tune. Muted trumpet, keyboards, sax and bass are leading the melody in a unobtrusive way.

The Gospel-like song of songs about Home is a continuous praise of home. Did John Stephens lend his voice again? No explanation in the liner notes.

Sunday Clothes Reprise is the funky version of Put On Your Sunday Clothes. If you like a jazz a brassy interpretation that's your first choice.

Gerald Veasley 's new album is the distinguished result of a perfected artist who knows what kind of music moves people.